DOCUMENT: Bizarre, Celebrity

An Embarrassment Of Riches

Loony inmate litigant sues Perez Hilton, Isiah Thomas, Steinbrenner

Jonathan Lee Riches

View Document

An Embarrassment Of Riches

OCTOBER 18--Celebrity blogger/litigation magnet Perez Hilton has again been sued in federal court. But the latest complaint has nothing to do with alleged copyright infringement, defamation, or leaked Britney Spears songs.

Instead, Hilton (real name: Mario Lavandeira) is the latest public figure to be sued by kooky Jonathan Lee Riches, the federal prison system's most litigious inmate. According to Riches, pictured in the mug shot at left, he carried on a years-long sexual relationship with Hilton and once bought the blogger a $23,000 diamond ring (which he presented to Hilton at a Holiday Inn in Cheyenne, Wyoming). Riches, jailed in South Carolina on federal fraud charges, claims that he pulled his swindles to pay for gifts and travel for him and Hilton.

As with all of his previous lawsuits, Riches's complaint against the blogger is filled with amusing pop culture references and scores of bizarre claims. Riches is seeking the closure of Hilton's popular web site, which he claims is invading his privacy and putting his life in danger.

If Riches does not prevail in the Hilton lawsuit, a copy of which you'll find at left, he has dozens of other cases to litigate, including new federal complaints against New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and New York Knicks coach Isiah Thomas. Riches alleges that he had affairs with both sports figures and that Steinbrenner called him 'Jonny Choo Choo.' Strangely, according to the Hilton complaint, that was the same pet name the blogger used for Riches. (9 pages)